An ideal way to support local children's charity

An ideal way to support local children's charity

Local hospitality business, Ideal Collection, is beginning 2016 with a pledge to support the work of The Murray Parish Trust. The company is teaming up with Hampshire companies, New Forest Spring Water and Harvest Fine Foods, to donate 50p from every litre of New Forest Spring Water sold at their restaurants to the charity.

The collaboration involves businesses which form part of Hampshire Fare and marks the renewal of Ideal Collection’s corporate partnership with Hampshire Fare which is entering its 25th anniversary year. The decision to support The Murray Parish Trust (TMPT) was motivated by personal experiences as Oliver Weeks, the Managing Director of Ideal Collection explains:

“The Murray Parish Trust is doing wonderful work to support the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at Southampton General Hospital. It is a charity which is close to my heart as we have had first-hand experience of the fantastic work of the hospital after sadly losing our son. I have wanted to find a way to support the hospital over the past year and am pleased to be able to enter 2016 raising money for such a worthy cause.”

The founders of the charity, actors Sarah Parish and James Murray, visited Ideal Collection’s No.5 Bridge Street in Winchester to launch the scheme. Sarah commented on what the support means to the charity which was set up in memory of their late daughter:

“We are delighted that Ideal Collection, New Forest Spring Water, Harvest Fine Foods and Hampshire Fare are collaborating to support The Murray Parish Trust. It is a relatively young charity and we are keen to involve the immediate community so it is ideal that we have local producers and local businesses supporting our charity. At the moment we are raising money to expand the PICU unit to include two extra beds after that we hope to turn our focus to developing a children’s A&E facility. We had an initial target of £1 million but we hope to exceed this and continue working to raise all that we can. ”

Kevin Cowell, Director of New Forest Spring Water is excited by the opportunity to support the charity:  “I feel that as a business it is important to be integrated in the Hampshire community. The Murray Parish Trust is an excellent cause which is in its infancy so we can really make a difference. We are keen to establish a new way of working with suppliers and customers which maximises benefits to good causes, this is the first step."

The initiative is being made possible thanks to Harvest Fine Foods who have agreed to distribute the spring water to all the Ideal Collection venues. The wholesale food distribution supplier is in the process of relocating to Totton in Hampshire. Phil Clark from the company also has personal reasons for supporting the charity:

"My son was treated at PICU when he was born, so I'm really pleased to have this opportunity to support the trust. It is good to be able to put something back into a local facility performing such vital work. It's the first time the company has been actively involved in giving ongoing support to a charity."

Ideal Collection has already donated £30,000 to a local allotment scheme project working with disadvantaged members of the community. Its support for The Murray Parish Trust is the next phase in its commitment to the local community. As well donating money from water sales, children will eat for just £2 during January and the entire £2 will be passed on to TMPT. During the remainder of the year £1 from every children’s meal will be donated to the trust.

A fundraising dinner will also be held on Friday 26th February at No.5 Bridge Street in Winchester in aid of TMPT. A four course meal using ingredients from within a 25 mile radius to celebrate Hampshire Fare’s 25th anniversary will be served to guests. The evening will include live jazz and a charity auction, for more information about booking a table call No.5 Bridge Street on 01962 863838.